Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Another Short Memoir Of Feeling Low

I’m not in a good place today. I haven’t been for a long time, if the truth be told. To combat this, what can only be described as depression, I write. A month or so ago I wrote a piece entitled ‘A Short Memoir Of Feeling Low’. You won’t have seen it, in all probability. I didn’t even publish it on Twitter or Facebook because it was just that grim. The darkness had truly descended. It wasn’t a suicide watch job. I haven't got the bollocks for that no matter how shite I feel. But it was fairly negative stuff. Not the sort of thing that regular readers come here for. Regular readers come here in the hope that I have fallen out of my chair earlier that day, or been given money to buy a hamburger by a stranger. Anyway, though I spend most of my time believing that nobody actually reads this shit the fact is that there was a high possibility that people close to me would read it and I didn't want to worry anyone.

Somehow, and I don’t know how since it was only published on Memoirs Of A Fire Hazard (average readership on days when nothing appears on social media – 3) someone found this piece and actually took the time to post a comment. They were very kind about the rest of my work and encouraged me to continue, and said that they hoped I would be feeling better soon. It restored my faith in humanity. They posted anonymously so I suppose I will never know who they are but I thank them for it anyway. I replied to the comment to let them know that but the conversation did not continue. Hopefully they did see it and they do know that I was grateful for their intervention.

There are a number of things which are triggers for making me feel low, none of which are publishable here for all sorts of reasons. Even Memoirs Of A Fire Hazard has limits on what it can and cannot reasonably discuss. The point is that although these things are important to me it is actually my own mind that is torturing me on a now daily basis. Surely everyone has things about their life that they would like to change, things they wish they could do but can’t. How many of those people spend seemingly every waking moment obsessing about those things? That’s how bad it has got recently. Maybe I’m just bored.

Earlier today I was in the lift at work heading back up towards the office, contemplating my misery, when the thought occurred to me that I need to find some way to stop thinking like this because I’m running out of time. I’m 41 years old. How long am I going to live with my condition, added to the fact that I have a couple of kidneys which have been operating at around 30% for the best part of the last decade? Logically I realise that I am wasting whatever time I have left by thinking and feeling like I do but I can’t seem to turn the tide. But logic is a concept that I understand but am increasingly unable to apply. As a result I am equating happiness with changing situations which I cannot possibly change when what I need to do is forget about those things and start to enjoy the good things.

There are plenty of those too. This isn’t A Short Memoir Of Everything Is Shite. I have a holiday in Florida to look forward to in July. Appreciating that a lot of people live their entire lives without doing anything that exciting, this will be my second visit in six years. I’ve also been to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Nice, Marseille, Barcelona and New York since then. Then there’s the small matter of the Robbie Williams gig in June. And the rugby league season starts soon. It’s somewhat masochistic perhaps, but there is still pleasure in my fortnightly fix of The Grind at the soon to be laughed at Totally Wicked Stadium. So the fact that I know all this and yet still cannot lift my mood on this turgid Wednesday perhaps suggests that I am depressed. I mean actually suffering from depression, in a Marcus Trescothick sort of way. He’s a cricketer, for the uninitiated, and to cut his very long book short he had to stop touring with the England team because being away from his home and family caused him to develop a stress related illness. Depression, or something like it.

If I have depression then it really doesn’t matter what is good or bad about my life. It is irrelevant where I am going on holiday, or what I perceive my disability to be robbing me of. Depression has triggers, but it can happen to anybody at any time for no good reason. Perhaps that is what is happening to me. It doesn’t help that it is Christmas which means several occasions on which I drink until I can’t feel anything but negativity and despair and then I go home. Usually without telling anyone but since everyone knows this it’s fine and nobody has to bother looking for me or contacting me to see if I’m ok. I’m just being me. A pain in the proverbial.

Which probably random, unrelated and incoherent thoughts bring me to the end of my Short Memoir Of Feeling Low. I’m not really sure it has achieved anything. I don’t feel any better. Well, maybe a little. It’s allowed me to vent. It takes courage to write a piece like this. A number of you will read it, maybe even not get past the headline, before thinking about what a total and utter crank I am. And you'd be right. I am a crank of the highest order. But I guess it is my blog and if I want to be a crank then surely that's my prerogative. In any case, maybe it has helped someone else out there (people DO read this shit, apparently). If you are one of my readers and you have had or think you have had some form of depression then know that you are not on your own. I’m just as batshit crazy as you are, and for reasons that are too absurd to even admit to in a blog.

I wish I could live a little more
Look up to the sky not just the floor
I feel like my life is flashing by
And all I can do is watch and cry


Anonymous said...

I'm sure many people read more than you know. They may not always reply, not because they didn't think it was a good piece of work but sometimes 'there's always tomorrow'. Depression, anxiety and similar issues are far too common and the fact you've shared that openly is good, brave and important to you and those around you. I know from other posts you're not a huge fan of doctors but it could be worth a visit. Not necessarily to be prescribed something but maybe just to talk?
I'm glad you have great things ahead to look forward to and hope that can help you out of the darkness. Take care.

Cunnini said...

Ste, we don't know each other, I'm similar age and from St H but emigrated down south 16 years ago. Your regular in season blogs on redvee and posts there are funny, articulate and informative, in other words, bloody good! Depression is the same as having a cold, it's not something you decide to have, it's a medical condition that imposes itself on you. Like a cold, you can ignore it and hope it goes away, or you can make a conscious decision about it, unfortunately Lemsip only works for the one of these things (other brands are available).

Personally, I really believe in talking therapies, and there was an interesting piece on the radio (BBC?) today talking about using the inter web thingy for helping people through depression, yes, it was R2 I'm sure?

First thing I really do believe is to accept that it's just like getting a cold, it's normal. Happy to help if I can, you can DM me on redvee, I'm 'bungle', long and boring story from years ago that I probably can't even remeber properly....


Stephen Orford said...

Thank you ever so much for getting in touch. It means a great deal. I have had counselling sessions in the past and they helped. It's something I've been thinking about doing again recently but the lady I used to see has moved on. So I need to start again with someone new.

Stephen Orford said...

Hi Ian. Thank you so much for getting in touch. My reply on Twitter possibly betrays the fact that I thought you were the Ian Cunningham that I do know. He's involved in mental health. It's great to put real names to the Redvee nicknames. Thank you for reading my work on there and for your comments. They're greatly appreciated.